Balancing finals alone is overwhelming but coupled with internship or job applications and interviewing, it really can feel impossible at times just to keep track of it all. So what can you do to manage all your final exams, projects, papers, and presentations while also going through the recruiting process? Time management strategies are the name of the game. Here are our top 6 tips for managing your crowded schedules:
1. Making a list, and checking it twice
You have two weeks until the end of your semester. What have you finished? What do you have to finish so far? How will you finish your outstanding tasks? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when crafting your plan to get through finals. First, make a list of EVERYTHING school-related you have left in the semester: papers, presentations, group projects, and final exams, with due dates. Then, make another list with recruiting tasks: resume revisions, job application deadlines, and interviews. This way, you get the opportunity to consolidate everything you have to do on compartmentalized lists.
2. Craft your schedule
Online calendars are SUCH lifesavers! Whatever your preference (Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, etc.), online calendars are such a good way to manage time effectively and efficiently. Use your lists to schedule each deadline, due date, and interview into your calendar and be sure to set push notifications to your phone for 2 days, 1 day, and 1 hour before the deadline.
Having a visual representation of your crazy college schedule will better help you juggle your competing academic demands while still allowing you time for your great many exciting college adventures. Plus, your day-to-day activities are a great activity to ameliorate feelings of anxiety and stress.
Once you schedule your deadlines, start scheduling blocks of time, and crafting a schedule to complete final exams.
3. Use your phone for the better
With millions of apps and games at your fingertips, your smartphone can seem more of a time-guzzler than a time manager. However, with a little self-discipline, you can turn your phone into one of your best assets when it comes to prioritizing and saving time.
Your phone can serve as an on-the-go calendar and scheduler. Take advantage of that by setting reminders that will help you keep track of due dates and interviews and other important commitments in mind as you go through your day.
Apps can be helpful too. Look into project management and productivity apps like Trello that serve as digital to-do lists. If you know you are prone to checking Facebook or Instagram during times you should be being productive, try apps like Self Control, Freedom, or Anti Social that block social media and other distractions for controlled increments of time.
4. Start small, break up the big
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by large projects and big exams, and the anxiety can make you want to procrastinate. Start with shorter, simpler to-do items and then move on to larger projects or assignments.
With larger projects or assignments, break them into smaller tasks and deadlines in the weeks leading up to the final deadline. For example, if you have a 10-page paper, schedule personal deadlines for researching, writing, and revisions.
5. Prepare for interviews in advance
After scheduling out your interviews in your calendar and blocking out time to finish final assignments, be sure to block out time to prepare for your interviews in advance so you will have time to practice! Create documents for different interviews with your company research as well as answers for common interview questions.
6. Take breaks
It’s important to take time for yourself to let your mind recharge in between study sessions. Long study sessions or chunks of time working on assignments should be broken up with time away from screens or textbooks.
Consider trying the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ to build breaks into your day: Set a timer to work for 25-minute sprints, broken up by 5-10 minute breaks.
7. Practice self-care
Even outside of finals week, it is always important to practice self-care and can even play a huge role in successfully managing your time while in college.
Practicing regular exercise can keep your energy levels up, resulting in a more engaged mind when doing school work. Getting enough sleep at night can save college students time—this not only helps you avoid the time taken for afternoon naps, but it also can increase your alertness and decrease your stress levels.
Need help with interview prep from the pros? Our plans come with career coaching and professional development events like interactive networking workshops.